The arc of St Patrick’s Street
The English Market 
The Cork Public Museum

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Irish Spirit

When you step ashore from your MSC Northern Europe cruise in Cork, everywhere there is evidence of its history as a great mercantile centre, with grey-stone quaysides, old warehouses, and elegant, quirky bridges spanning the River Lee to each side of the city’s island core.
But equally powerful draws are its lively atmosphere and large student population, combined with a vibrant social and cultural scene. Massive stone walls built by invading Normans in the twelfth century were destroyed by William III’s forces during the Siege of Cork in 1690, after which waterborne trade brought increasing prosperity, as witnessed by the city’s fine eighteenth-century bow-fronted houses and ostentatious nineteenth-century churches.

The graceful arc of St Patrick’s Street – which with Grand Parade forms the commercial heart of the centre – is crammed with major chain stores. Just off here on Princes Street, the English Market offers the chance to sample local delicacies like drisheen (a peppered sausage made from a sheep’s stomach lining and blood).

The west of the city is predominantly residential, though Fitzgerald Park is home to the Cork Public Museum, which focuses on Republican history. Kinsale, 25km south of Cork city, is also waiting to be enjoyed on an MSC Northern Europe cruise excursion. Kinsale enjoys a glorious setting at the head of a sheltered harbour around the mouth of the Bandon River.

Two imposing forts and a fine tower-house remain as evidence of its former importance as a trading port, and Kinsale has built on its cosmopolitan links to become the culinary capital of the southwest. Add in plenty of opportunities for watersports on the fine local beaches and a number of congenial pubs, and you have a very appealing, upscale resort town.

Must see places in Cork

  • Blarney castle

    Blarney castle

  • Kinsale


  • Lismore Castle

    Lismore Castle

Discover our excursions

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    Founded in A.D. 914 by the Vikings and later extended by the Anglo-Normans, Waterford is set in a commanding position near the estuary of the River Suir. It became southeast Ireland's main seaport and from the 18th century onwards, the city's prosperity was consolidated by local industries, including the former glassworks for which Waterford is famous. This panoramic city tour starts with an introduction to the extensive remains of the ancient walls, which clearly define the area originally fortified by the Viking, as well as Reginald's Tower, a visible reminder of Viking power that is said to date back to the 10th century. Your will have time to explore the old pedestrian quarters on your own, after which the tour will continue on to the famous Waterford Crystal visitors’ centre, which is located in the centre of the town. A guided tour will take you through every stage of the production process during which heat is used to transform ordinary sand, lead and potash into glittering lead crystal. After stopping for lunch, the tour continues on to Lismore, which was founded by St. Carthage in the 7th century and today is classed as a heritage town by the Irish Tourist Board. Before returning to the ship, a photo stop will be made at Lismore Castle, which was once home to Sir Walter Raleigh and today is the Irish residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Please note: limited number of guides in languages other than English. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English only. A helper to get on/off the coach must accompany wheelchair guests. Wheelchairs must be foldable, as the coach has no ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.
    • Wheelchair and disabled-friendly tour – Wheelchair guests must be accompanied by their own helper to get on/off the coach. Wheelchairs must be foldable as the coach is not provided with ramps or lifts. Once onboard, please contact Excursions Desk staff promptly so they can help make arrangements.

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults$105.00Price per person

    • Children$79.00Price per person

The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.


Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.


Where the land is greener
Where the land is greener

A cruise to Ireland will fulfill all your romantic preconceptions. An uncommon geological richness and the warming effect of the Atlantic produce an astonishing diversity of terrain on this small island, which is splashed throughout with lakes and primeval bogland.

In the east, the crumpled granite of the Wicklow Hills sits in utter contrast to the horse-grazing plain of the Curragh just a few kilometres away, and in Connemara on the west coast, you can walk from beach to mountain to fen, from seaweed-strewn inlet to lily-covered lough, in a matter of hours.

is the Republic’s main entry-point, a confident capital whose raw, modern energy is complemented by rich cultural traditions, and which boasts outstanding medieval monuments and the richly varied exhibits of the National Gallery and National Museum.

South of the city, the desolate Wicklow Mountains offer a breathtaking contrast to city life. On Ireland’s southern coast, Cork’s shoreline is punctuated by secluded estuaries, rolling headlands and historic harbours, while Cork city itself is the region’s hub, with a vibrant cultural scene.
Stunning early Christian monuments abound, too, including the Rock of Cashel and atmospheric sites at Clonmacnoise, Glendalough and Monasterboice.

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